Jovan Vavic Gets New Trial

Former USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic has been granted a new trial by a Massachusetts judge in the “Varsity Blues” case after the judge found USC could not be considered a “victim” for purposes of the fraud statute according to Law360.

Judge Indira Talwani wrote: “however distasteful, there is nothing inherently illegal about a private institution accepting money in exchange for a student’s admission.”

The judge hinted in June she might grant a new trial.

“What was the evidence here of harm to the university, other than the embarrassment once this came out?” Talwani asked government lawyers. “And, if it’s embarrassment, and you can say that’s a legitimate harm, does that give us a problem … that you’re criminalizing bribery because it’s embarrassing for the employer?”

10 thoughts on “Jovan Vavic Gets New Trial

  1. Basically, the feds argued that the parents and defendants appeal should be thrown out for a retrial because of the harm done to USC (insert vomit). The judge then made the referenced quote to explain that USC wasn’t harmed financially but only in reputation, which doesn’t qualify legally as a harm. If it were to qualify as a harm then does that mean the bribe becomes criminal when no law (or the school which didn’t submit a brief supporting the feds assertions) is found to be violated? I don’t know how USC isn’t criminally responsible and not considered a co-conspirator when their lack of oversight allowed the bribery to exist. Pat Haden brought all those people into the athletic department and they’ve just disappeared suddenly?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Precisely. That was the basis of the lawsuit against Michael Michaels for his involvement with Reggie Bush. Instead, USC took the high road and decided not to sue because their own employees participated in the fraud. That’s why the judge took the feds to task about why are they fighting the appeal with such a weak sauce argument when USC isn’t complaining or asking for relief!


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